Author Archives: 24x7wpsupport

How many calories a day does my dog need?

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From the Pet Nutritionist

Dogs really do have fast metabolisms. Pound for pound, a medium size dog needs about 1.5 times more calories than a medium size person (dogs are so lucky aren’t they!). Younger or more active dogs need even more calories. That said, too many calories can cause excess weight and lead to many problems.

The best solution is to feed proper amounts of nutrient rich, digestible diets with high quality, animal proteins and high quality fats. This will provide your dog with both essential nutrition and the majority of calories in his diet. Starches then provide the remaining calories as well as make the hard, crunchy texture dogs like. Digestibility of the proteins and fats is really important. It ensures good nutrition as well as that most of the calories don’t come from sugars. Animal muscle and organs are excellent sources of protein. Dogs can efficiently digest them to get a balanced blend of indispensable amino acids. Fish oil and chicken fat can provide a balanced blend of essential fatty acids.

Recommended daily calorie intake is based on several factors. First is the resting energy requirement or basal energy metabolism to support body size. This is the amount of energy needed for basic body functions (digestion, respiration, etc.). Smaller dogs need more calories per pound but less total calories than larger dogs to support basic metabolism.

Additional calories are needed for activity and/or growth. The amount of additional calories depends on age, activity level, pregnancy and neutering. For example, a young Jack Russell terrier needs more calories than a neutered, middle aged poodle. The amount of calories will change with age. Puppies obviously need extra calories per pound of body weight. Adult dogs generally need fewer calories per pound of body weight unless they are very active (working, training, or hunting).   Senior dogs generally need fewer calories because they are less active. However, some senior dogs may need extra calories if their digestive system becomes less efficient.

What are general recommendations for calorie intake?

Recommendations for calorie intake are guidelines. The amount of food will change with age. It can be less during winter and summer but more during fall and spring. Ultimately you have to monitor weight of your dog and adjust as needed depending on his or her activity level, etc. You know best.

For good body mass, the ribs should not be covered by excess fat and the abdomen should be tucked up.  Images of good body mass are available at web sites of most veterinary colleges. Table 1 lists the recommended amounts of High Hopes® Full Feeding Diets for adult dogs. Treats are a part of your dog’s diet too     Generally speaking, about 10% of your dog’s weekly calorie intake can come from treats.

Table 1: General calorie requirements for active adult dogs

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The goodness of whole grains in your dog’s diet

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From the Pet Nutritionist

I thought “Grain-free” is best for my dog. What’s with the whole grains?

Whole grains are the “whole” of the grain, which means that all of the edible parts of the grain have been kept for consumption. There are 3 edible parts in a grain, each which brings different beneficial nutrients: the Bran, Endosperm and Germ. The Bran and the Germ are the most nutritious parts, and are packed with concentrated amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

* Bran – fiber rich outer layer that protects the grain

* Endosperm – the starchy middle that provides energy

* Germ – the nutrient –packed inner

Refined grains (like white rice or wheat) have had the Bran and Endosperm removed during processing. And because they are mostly starch, refined grains are quickly digested into simple sugars and absorbed into the bloodstream. Foods that are quickly digested into sugars have a “high glycemic index”.

Whole grains on the other hand have multiple benefits. The bran part is rich in fibers which slows the digestion of starch into sugars. There are other benefits to fiber. Some are prebiotics which help the gut micro biome. Others help improve stool quality. All together fiber helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Whole grains also have 2-3x the vitamins and nutrients of refined grains. The germ of a seed is packed with nutrients to sustain the seedling. Any food with whole grain will have those same essential nutrients to support your dog.

High Hopes®’ Whole Grain diet uses a variety of whole grains including oats, brown rice and barley, in addition to a broad range of vegetables, blueberries and cranberries and legumes such as garbanzo beans.

The Grain Free versus Whole Grain dilemma. Which one is right for my dog?

Every dog tummy is as unique as his or her personality. You are the best judge of how your dog is feeling and the most important thing is for him to be happy & healthy, so if you’ve made a switch to grain free foods and it’s helped, then definitely stick with it    

Most dogs will thrive on a balanced diet that includes whole grains. If you haven’t noticed any dietary sensitivity, you might want to give it a try because of all the healthy benefits that whole grains bring.

The power of fruits and veggies in your dog’s diet

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From the Pet Nutritionist

They say “5 a day” is a good key to your health, and we couldn’t agree more. All of High Hopes® dog foods (and many of our treats too) contain vegetables and fruits, because they provide a host of benefits to keep your dog both feeling both HEALTHY & HAPPY.

Bioactive elements in vegetables and fruits provide health benefits from boosting the immune system to helping fight cancer. Following is a list of the vegetables and fruits (plus a few whole grains and legumes) found in High Hopes® foods & treats and their potential health benefits to your dog.

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Nothing but the best ingredients

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From the Pet Nutritionist

So you already know we’re helping homeless pets. But you may be wondering what’s in it for my dog?

Our Nutrition Promise


No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives


Premium proteins such as salmon & lamb and including organ meat

Responsible & Functional Nutrition

Protein mostly from animal sources (65 – 70%). Variety of fruits, vegetables and legumes. Rich & balanced proportions of Omega-3 & 6 (including DHA & EPA) and phytonutrients. Natural sources of chondroitin & glucosamine.

A Product You Can Trust

Small batch made in the USA at an experienced, family-owned, super-premium facility. Developed by a recognized pet nutritionist who has a PhD. in Animal Nutrition.

Here’s an explanation of our ingredients and how they contribute to a nutritious food for your dog. We grouped them together so it makes sense.


Highly digestible proteins such as Lamb, Salmon, Chicken, Egg etc. provide sources of indispensable amino acids and essential fatty acids needed for metabolism and to support your dog’s muscle and immune system. High Hopes® diets include a variety of proteins for balance. Click here for more detail on the animal ingredients included in our foods.


Fats like fish oil, flax seed and chicken fat provide a balanced blend of Omega-3 and 6. These fats and oils keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. They also help protect the heart and kidneys and reduce inflammation. Especially in younger dogs, they enhance neural and retinal development. Click here for more detail on the fat and oil ingredients included in our foods.


Garbanzo bean and peas are sources of protein and fiber, and are relatively rich in indispensable amino acids. Legume fibers are prebiotics and help maintain good stool quality (a relief to us pet parents too     ). Legumes starches are also digested more slowly for sustained energy. The combination of slowly digestible starches like legumes, with faster digestible starches (see tubers below) helps give your dog the energy he needs, while avoiding the peaks and valleys of glucose release. Click here for more detail on the legume ingredients included in our foods.


Ingredients like potato, tapioca and sweet potato bring multiple benefits. They have fiber and vitamins (i.e. beta carotene and vitamin B6), and also give the food a crunchy texture dogs like. A little crunch can also help keep teeth clean. Click here for more detail on the tuber ingredients included in our foods.


Oats, barley, brown rice are good sources of fiber and vitamins (and in us humans, are part of a “healthy heart” diet). The starches are more slowly digested, and as a result, provide balance to the more quickly digested potatoes and tapioca starches. Click here for more detail on the whole grain ingredients included in our foods.


A rich blend of fruits and vegetables (see our blog on the power of fruits and vegetables in your dog’s diet) provide multiple phyto-nutrients. These nutrients can help reduce inflammation, aid digestion, help maintain and control blood pressure, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease. Click here for more detail on the fruit and vegetables included in our foods.


Ingredients such as Fish, fish oil, flaxseed, help reduce inflammation, protect heart and kidney functions, and may help improve retinal and neural development, especially in younger dogs. Chicken cartilage and chicken meal are natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for hip and joint protection. Click here for more detail on the functional ingredients included in our foods.


Essential for normal growth and survival, chicken, chicken fat, fish, fish oil and salmon all help protect skin, which is the body’s largest organ, from dehydration, toxic substances and infection. May help reduce inflammation including some skin and osteo-arthritis symptoms; help protect heart & kidney functions; and studies have reported findings of improved neural development and retinal development – especially in younger dogs. Click here for more detail on the essential fatty acids included in our foods.


Your dog can’t synthesize these, so they need to be in their food. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and central cogs of metabolism – without them, cells break down and serious diseases occur. Click here for more detail on the indispensable amino acids included in our foods.


Vitamins are vital for good health. Vitamin deficiencies cause diseases such as rickets, pellagra, night blindness and beriberi. The “B” vitamins are catalysts in cell metabolism. Vitamins A, C and E are anti-oxidants. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones. And most importantly, your dog needs just the right balance to stay both happy & healthy. Click here for more detail on vitamins included in our foods.


Dogs need relatively large amounts of calcium and phosphorus for bones and teeth. These are “bulk” minerals. Dogs need iron for hemoglobin, zinc for metabolism and manganese for DNA. These are “minor” minerals. Lastly, dogs need small amounts of iodine for the thyroid gland, copper for cellular respiration and selenium to make cartilage. These are “trace” minerals. Some minerals are harder to digest, so we use more expensive, chelated minerals (attached to amino acids) to improve absorption. Click here for more detail on minerals included in our foods.


Taurine has been used in cat foods for many years, but recent research suggests that even some dog breeds/mixes (Newfoundland, spaniel, retriever) may not always be able to synthesize enough. A lack of Taurine can cause eye and heart disease.


Only natural preservatives used here! Click here for more detail on the natural preservatives included in our foods.

More questions on pet nutrition? Click here to ask our Pet Nutritionist.


Todd’s Happy Tale ending

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Todd was found on the streets in Kansas and was labeled as rescue only.  He was not an aggressive dog, but he was vocal and anxious in his new surroundings.  The rescue arranged transport to my home a few weeks later and after a vet visit it was determined that he had about a 15-20% chance of survival due to an extreme case of heartworms.  The parasites were living in both his heart and his lungs.  Next was a seven month journey in his recovery.  The treatment was not cut and dry, but he was determined to make it and the rescue made that happen.  There were trips to see a specialist when it was determined he had a heart murmur that possibly meant surgical removal of the worms as well as trips to the chiropractor when his muscle and nerves had just had enough from the parasites moving out of his body.

Luckily, he did not require the surgery and was able to go home with us.  I will not go into the details of those seven months, but there were days that he could not stand up to relieve himself.  My husband and I had to make a sling to help hold him up while he was outside.  It was horrible for him and my heart ached watching him try to understand what was going on.

The anxiousness he felt was part fear and partly neurological because the vet believed him to be autistic.  This is not common in dogs, but can happen.  The assumption is that Todd came from a breeding facility or back yard breeder and never had the proper attention or medical care.  That all changed when he arrived in rescue and was “temporarily” placed with my family.  He got the care that he needed to be cleared for adoption and we got the most precious gift through him.

I have always been a pet owner, but have never had a dog love as deeply as Todd.  He loves with everything he has and is loved that much in return.  It is the work of rescues and companies such as yours that allows dogs to have a chance at a better life.  I attached a picture of Todd from the day of his intake evaluation and one several months later when he was closer to healthy.

There a many success stories like Todd’s.  I wanted to share some of his journey and highlight the wonderful world of fostering and rescue.


Hudson’s story

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Hudson Before(1)Hi, My name is Hudson (formerly Hambone of CACC).  I am a little shepherd/hound mix that was rescued by Blackdog All Breed Dog Rescue around Christmas-time. I was found wandering the streets of Chicago.  I was freezing, alone, and nothing but skin and bones.  I was taken to the all-access shelter.  The big one in Chicago where there are 600 animals at any given time in the building and more are brought in each day.  The rate at which they euthanize, because there is no space for everyone, is astonishing.  But it isn’t the shelter’s fault, it’s the people who consider us disposable.  It’s the people who don’t want to invest in training and vetting.  The people who are moving or re-decorating.  The people who just shove their dog out the front door and hope they find a good home.  It’s the people who keep letting us have litter after litter, without any concern for the welfare of our offspring.

Hudson after(1)The animal control volunteer staff saw me in my cage and thought I was a nice dog.  They posted my picture out on their Facebook page in hopes I would be rescued.  I received minimal vetting, as I appeared to be just another starving street dog, one of many they see every day. I was given shelter, food and water, and a warm place to sleep, away from the sub-zero Chicago weather. I was on mandatory stray hold for 5 days just in case someone was looking for me.  But they weren’t.

Within that 5 day period, my health continued to decline.  Thankfully, a nice woman from Blackdog Rescue came to pull me out of the shelter and into a foster home.  The nice lady recognized that there was something quite seriously wrong with me, I was much quieter than I was when she first met me at the beginning of my “stray hold.” I wouldn’t eat or drink and if I did, I would vomit.  I was rushed to something called a vet.  They found an obstruction in my intestines. Because I had been without food for so long, I tried to eat a corn cob to fill my empty belly.  That corn cob caused a horrible obstruction, causing my intestines to start telescoping on themselves. I was immediately rushed into surgery.  I am alive today because a rescue chose me. I am alive today because a rescue was able to fundraise their heart out to make sure I got the vetting I needed.  I am alive today because someone opened their home to me, a foster, so a rescue could take me out of the shelter.  And I have good news: I was cleared last week to be adopted (by the vet) and I hear I have a meet and greet with a forever home this week!

A dog like me who could have so easily been passed over at the big shelter, or even died due to the outrageous numbers of animals coming and going. Dogs like me need rescues. Rescues need volunteers like fosters, who can open their hearts and homes to homeless pets like me, a little shepherd/hound mix named Hudson.


Teddy’s tale of rescue

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Teddy came into Chicago English Bulldog Rescue’s care at 5 years old.

His previous family surrendered him because he did not get along with the neighborhood dogs.  With children in the home, this made his family nervous that Teddy could be unpredictable if unfamiliar dogs were to approach him.


Under the watchful care of CEBR, Teddy showed that he does not mind other dogs as long as he is properly introduced in a slow manner.

Teddy has been adopted by his forever family and enjoys the company of his English Bulldog sister.  Teddy is such a smart boy, he is doing great in his training class.

Teddy’s 3 favorite things are:
Naps in the Sunshine
Ear Rubs
High Hopes® Treats


Why animal protein is important in your dog’s diet

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From the Pet Nutritionist

REAL MEAT FIRST: Why it’s better

Dogs have fast, efficient metabolisms     (see our article on calorie requirements and you’ll be jealous us humans don’t have their metabolism too     ). They need complex mixes of amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. That’s why meaty, nutrient rich, digestible diets are important.

Protein digestion is especially important to release amino acids into the body. Amino acids have two critical functions. First they are the building blocks for all proteins, which are long chains of amino acids. Second they are central cogs in cell physiology. There are twenty common amino acids. Dogs can synthesize only ten of them, and must get the other 10 from food. These are the “indispensable” amino acids, meaning that they are indispensable in the diet. For optimal health, all indispensable amino acids must be available at appropriate ratios and concentrations.

What are the best sources of animal protein?

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, organ meat like liver, chicken meal and fish meal are great ingredients for dog foods because they provide the right mixes of indispensable amino acids in the right ratios. A diet that has multiple sources of proteins, including fish and organ meat, helps ensure that your dog gets the right amounts of all the essential nutrients (see our article on why essential fatty acids are important in your dog’s diet).

Dogs digest animal muscle and organs with minimal waste.   For a host of reasons, dogs digest plant ingredients much less efficiently. Even soybean, which has relatively high amounts of indispensable amino acids as well as essential fatty acids, is less digestible than many animal tissues.

Good nutrition has a positive effect on your dog’s entire body and keeps him both HAPPY & HEALTHY.    

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→ Look for diets that have sources of meat, poultry and fish in the ingredient panel.

→ Look for diets whose protein comes more from animal sources, and be wary of diets rich in vegetable-based ingredients like soy or corn.

High Hopes® Nutritional Profiles    

65% of High Hopes® Grain Free Lamb & Salmon formula is from Animal protein.
70% of High Hopes® Whole Grain Chicken & Salmon formula is from Animal protein.

High Hopes® for Pets Foundation awards $500 grants to 2 more rescue groups

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APRIL 29, 2015

    37 grants given since September 2011    

The High Hopes® for Pets Foundation has awarded $500 grants to Blackdog All Breed Dog Rescue, Big Dogs, Huge Paws and Wright Way Rescue to help support all the great work they do helping homeless pets.

A big THANK YOU     to all our wonderful fans who make the Foundation’s grants possible through your purchase of High Hopes®’ all-natural treats…. your support makes it all possible!

Below is more detail about the exceptional work these organizations do. Please give them a big thumbs up and help spread the word! High Hopes® will be awarding more grants in April – so be sure to let deserving animal care organizations know the deadline for application will be June 30th, 2015.

Golden Retrievers in Need Rescue Service (G.R.I.N.) (Cleveland, OH)

G.R.I.N. was started in 1992 by a group of Golden enthusiasts who wanted to make a difference. Since then, they have placed over 3,000 Goldens into loving, new homes. Their 100% volunteer-staffed organization serves northeast and central OH, Western PA, Western NY and many outlying areas that don’t have a Golden rescue. Foster based, they are grateful to their many members who open their homes until their forever homes can be found.

To learn more, visit

Longmont Humane Society (Longmont, CO)

Longmont Humane Society is an open-admission shelter dedicated to the protection of all animals, regardless of breed, age, size or appearance. LHS receives over 4,000 lost or homeless pets annually. In 2014, LHS achieved a live release rate of 94.6%, returning lost pets to their owners and finding new homes for those in need more than ever before. LHS also provides community outreach to create a more humane and compassionate society for companion animals. Their “Kids & Critters” camp encourages children to value animals with respect and responsibility.

To find out, visit

Total Grants Given:
dogs & cats adopted in adopt-a-thons
lbs of food donated
Helping local shelters & rescues!